Donor retention is a critical component of a nonprofit’s sustainability and impact. One way to retain donors is by thanking them promptly in a personal way.
Sending a personalized video to say thank you for a donation is an innovative and effective way to keep in touch with your donors while showing your gratitude. Not only does it cut through the noise with a new and engaging format, but it also helps to develop a one-to-one relationship with each donor.
What is a donor thank you video?
A donor thank you video is a video message created to express gratitude and appreciation to individuals or organizations that have made donations. These videos are often produced by non-profit organizations, charities, or crowdfunding campaigns to acknowledge and thank their donors for their contributions.
A donor thank you video typically includes heartfelt messages of thanks, information about how the donations will be used, and updates about the impact that the contributions have had on your organization. A donation thank you video strengthens the connection between the donors and the organization they’ve supported, fostering a sense of appreciation and engagement.
Donor thank you videos can be shared across platforms, such as social media, websites, or sent directly to donors via email. They serve as a way to show transparency, build trust, and maintain positive relationships with supporters. One effective way to leverage donor thank you videos is through personalized video messaging integrated within your digital fundraising platform.
When to use donor thank you videos
When it comes to showing your donors appreciation for their recent support, early, often and authentic are the keys. Organizations can leverage personalized donor thank you videos at various times during and after a fundraising campaign. Here are some examples of occasions you might consider saying “thank you for your donation” with a video:
Immediately after a donation
Sending a donation thank you video promptly after receiving a donation is a best practice. It shows donors that their contributions are valued and reinforces their decision to support your cause. Over time, this builds trust and gratitude for your organization.
End of a fundraising campaign
If the donor thank you video is part of a larger fundraising campaign, consider sending it at the end of the campaign to collectively thank all donors who participated. It’s important to personalize the videos to resonate with each donor while making the message broad enough to scale to a large group of donors.
Anniversary or milestone celebrations
Celebrate anniversaries or significant milestones related to your organization. This could include the anniversary of the donor’s first contribution or a milestone achieved with their support. Checking in with your donors through personalized video shows that you care about them year-round and not just during the big “ask.”
When you have specific updates on how the donations have been used and the impact they’ve had, share this information through a thank you video. This helps donors see the tangible outcomes of their support and encourages their support the next time around.
If someone is choosing to donate a high-value donation, they should be prioritized and properly thanked. Take the time to craft a personalized video that genuinely caters to them. Making your top donors feel special is critical to the success of your fundraising strategy. Without them, your organization wouldn’t be where it is today.
Donor appreciation events
If you organize donor appreciation events, consider incorporating a thank you video as part of the program. It adds a personal touch and acknowledges donors in a public setting.
Remember to tailor the content of the thank you video to the specific context and audience. Personalization and sincerity are key elements in making donors feel appreciated and connected to your organization’s mission. It’s easy to weave donor thank you videos into your stewardship and cultivation plan with fundraising software that integrates personalized video messaging.
Tips for creating donor thank you videos
Creating a donor thank you video doesn’t have to be hard! It’s all about demonstrating authenticity and building connection with your supporters. Here are ten tips for creating thank you videos that delight and engage your donors.
It’s not about having the perfect script or camera. It’s about showing up as your authentic self when thanking a donor. Donors want to connect with the organization they’ve supported on a deeper level, and a “thank you” coming from a person within the organization (or someone your organization benefits) will strike a chord.
Make it personal
According to Nonprofit Times’ Donor Loyalty Study, 71% of donors said personalization makes them feel more engaged. Treat the thank you as the beginning of a friendship. The thank you is an opportunity to get to know the donor and for them to get to know you.
Make it about the recipient
Don’t make it about you! Make it about the donor. Include donor-first language in your video that makes it clear how much the organization values their specific support. For example, include key phrases like “Because of your support…”, “you are changing lives,” or “Thanks to you,…”
Offer your contact information
Donors want to feel like they are a part of a community. One easy way to make the donor feel included is to add an option to contact you through channels like email, phone or social media.
Share testimonials and impact
Use donor thank you videos to share testimonials and impact stories. This lets the donor know where their dollars are being spent as well as the positive differences they are making. Testimonials show tangible results and help answer the question, “How is my donation being put to good use?”
Write their name on a piece of paper
One way to grab a donor’s attention is to write their name on a piece of paper or whiteboard and feature it in the video. This will prove your video is personalized and not a generic template sent as part of a mass email communication.
Don’t mistake the receipt for the thank you
The automated receipt is not a thank you; it’s simply a confirmation of payment. A thank you video is an opportunity to form a meaningful relationship with the donor. Make sure to follow up promptly with an authentic thank you.
Don’t sell or ask
The thank you video should show how your donor helped the organization overcome the problem, not highlight the problem itself. The donor already made a generous gift to your organization. Use this communication to say thank you instead of immediately soliciting again.
Be quick, but late is better than never
Penelope Burk’s research shows 93% of donors would “definitely or probably give again” to a charity that provided a prompt and personal thank you. She recommends saying thanks within 48 hours. But don’t stress if your response comes after. A thank you is always better late than never!
Examples of the best donor thank you videos
Showcase impact on the community
Highlands College students shared messages of thanks from locations that remind the donor how far their impact goes. The backdrop of your video can express appreciation as much as the verbal recognition!
Use your brand
Heifer International leveraged a brand video to add to their reel following a personal message from a fundraiser. Tap into your organization’s mission to add a higher level touch to your thank you.
Create a culture of support with donor thank you videos
Personalized donor thank you videos are a perfect way to show gratitude for your donors in an authentic yet scalable way, cultivating a strong relationship that leads to provable retention over time. The only limit to the use cases of using personalized videos in your donor outreach is your imagination!
Whether you’re saying “thank you for your donation” following a giving day campaign, celebrating a donor’s milestone, saying happy birthday, or showing gratitude by giving an impact update, personalized videos are a great way to foster a meaningful relationship with your biggest supporters.
Transform your donor outreach through personalized, human-centric video messaging with the Gravyty fundraising platform. Get a free consultation.